Release Date: Apr 10, 2020
Record label: Chrysalis Records
If you're a casual listener, Laura Marling's latest album could be surprising in a handful of ways. Coming off a series of back to back good albums, 2016's Semper Femina and 2018's collaboration with Mike Lindsay entitled LUMP, you might not have expected another one only two years later. If you keep up with album releases, Marling's decision to move the album up to an April release might have been unexpected.
'Song For Our Daughter' arrives months ahead of schedule as an inspiring respite from current troubles. To at the very least entertain, Laura Marling explains her reasoning for the early release, and at its best to provide some union. With it, she presents a snapshot of womanhood in today's society, returning to her stripped-back folk following time embracing other facets of her creativity.
That nature which means one day we're focused on living; getting our hearts broken, fusing them back together, all the way until we grow older and begin worrying what we need to pass on to our children, or what the state of the world will be. It's those latter ideas that became the catalyst for Song For Our Daughter, to try provide a semblance of understanding in this crazy world for Marling's fictitious daughter. But in order to provide a similar duty for everyone else during this globally trying time, it's been brought forward (initially set for an autumn release) and in hand unintentionaly bestowing itself a rare intimacy, and expanding upon its ideas.
The last we heard from Laura Marling was back in 2018 when she collaborated with Tunng frontman Mike Lindsay to release an album under the LUMP name. Her seventh solo album Song For Our Daughter sees her switch back to familiar arrangements, arguably resulting in her strongest album in a decade. Released four months ahead of schedule in an attempt to offer succour and comfort at a time of unprecedented uncertainty, its main premise sees Marling considering what advice she would give to girls soon to find themselves challenged by all the world has to throw at them.
Since her 2013 masterpiece Once I Was an Eagle, Laura Marling hasn't been afraid to use grand gestures to deliver her songs. She has injected her folk palette with genre-blurring sounds like driving rock rhythms, jagged guitar riffs and curiously dark pop arrangements. On her 2018 release with LUMP — a collaborative project with Mike Lindsay — Marling waded into the moody waves of synth-scapes.
'Song For Our Daughter' is Laura Marling's seventh album under her own name, and her first released in her 30s - a fact that seems hard to believe considering how mature she's always sounded and how firmly woven into the fabric of British music she has long been. Almost exactly 10 years ago she released 'I Speak Because I Can', an album that she said revolved around "the responsibility of womanhood" - a bold statement from someone who had just turned 20 at the time of its release. It is interesting to wonder what the Marling of today, a decade on, makes of her strident younger self that made that album, and perhaps 'Song For Our Daughter' offers a little insight.
Laura Marling's seventh album is addressed to an imaginary daughter: it provides succour, perspective and more than a few warnings. "Sometimes the hardest thing to learn is what you get from what you lose," she muses on Blow by Blow. The title track counsels against taking advice from "some old balding bore" in the music industry who wants her to remove her clothes.
Laura Marling has described her seventh solo album as a kind of conceptual work. Song for Our Daughter, she says, is about "trauma and an enduring quest to understand what it is to be a woman in this society". The songs are written to an imaginary child, offering her "all the confidences and affirmations I found so difficult to provide myself". It has also turned up months earlier than expected.